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Bob Dynamite vs. Tape Store - Polyvinyl Chloride [JAM-025]


Published June 25, 2006


from the included card:

A famous writer once said that "Polyvinyl Chloride" was the most beautiful combination of syllables in the English language. Now, Polyvinyl Chloride is also the most beautiful combination of songs ever compiled by Columbia, MO's much-beloved Cat Jams Label. A modern day Ludwig Van Beethoven, Casioist Bob Dynamite created a startling 49 tracks for this album. Just like the Beethoven before her, Dynamite is a prodigy -- a shining star only 14 years. Another young wonder, Tape Store (ne Chris Boeckmann) took Bob's beautiful tracks and remixed them 49 times. The result is extraordinary, marking Tape Store as a top remixer of his time. To top off this spine-tingling release, LA's the Mae-Shi remixed Bob and Tape Store's work; their track ends the album. It should be noted that Tape Store and Bob Dynamite only met once for a few minutes prior to this collaboration and never actually saw each other during the creation of it; this makes this album even more impressive than ever thought possible. Arguably the greatest Columbia release of all time, "Polyvinyl Chloride" rivals "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club" and "Pet Sounds" for the most epic, brilliant release ever. Enjoy.

in other words:

On this 80-minute 99-track single audio CD, 49 of the tracks are original Casio compositions by 14-year-old 'postgender' graphic artist Bob Dynamite (who also did all the artwork), and 49 tracks are remixes of said compositions by 16-year-old 'postcool' tape screwer-upper Tape Store (Chris Boeckmann), using various tools that were at his disposal (i.e. pianos, tape players and D4L).

The Mae-Shi, a critically acclaimed and commercially successful wacky arty noise band from LA, agreed to do the 99th track because they thought it was a good use of their time. Ezra Buchla of the group says of their track:

"there are two things in the song:

- there is a single take of me singing and playing the piano through a sortof vocoder thing, this take being doubled back on itself in a couple of places but still represented completely and continuously

- there are six stazzy background tracks, each of which was made by running the 98 cd tracks through a process which selected only the portions of sound harmonically centered around a given pitch. the six pitches were three octaves of D and three octaves of A. the A's were played backwards.

brad also made about 20min. worth of other cutups which we didn't end up using. it would be fun to rework bits of those into other songs sometime maybe if we can get around to it."

Each CD in the run of 32 is packaged with a folded-up note, written/fabricated/stolen by either Bob or Tape Store. Named after the chemical that raver pants are made of, Polyvinyl Chloride is a Cat Jams 2K6.5 release in the truest sense.

Bob Dynamite vs. Tape Store on Myspace
Cat Jams Label


Run time 79:18

Reviews

Reviewer: calciferol - - July 11, 2006
Subject: Post Ironic!
This is an interesting piece of art. I'm giving it 5 stars in order to bump up it's rating in the face of protobadger's complete misunderstanding of basic juvenile sarcasm.
Reviewer: protobadger - - July 11, 2006
Subject: Well... it's okay...
but that's all...

There are some nice parts, but in the future, please do not hype up readers into believing that their ears are about to witness the arrival of some musical messiah. You are not music jesus, you are not beethoven. I'm sorry, but you're not. You're a pair of teenage artists. A post-modernist noise casio player and a techno remixer. You're both inexperienced teens. That doesn't mean you automatically have some wonderful music genius that people lose as they grow older. It means you *definitely* don't have enough experience. And that works out to bad music no matter how you slice it. Once in a million times, you get an exception. Some prodigy here or there, who's brain works in a strange way which is perfect for creating a certain kind of music so that it's listenable. You are not them. I don't know what made you think you are... but I'm sorry... you're just... not.

This may be the most beautiful combination of songs ever compiled by Columbia, MO's much-beloved Cat Jams Label. I don't listen to the music of Cat Jams Label.

I do not believe this is a modern day Ludwig Van Beethoven because I do not thousands believe people will be listening to this music well into the next few centuries... it isn't very good, and that's all there is to it.

Even assuming prodigies exist today, a prodigy is not necessarily a child at the time of their introduction to music, nor are they necessarily a prodigy when they are a child (take Cobain, for example)... age is no indication of musical ability, and even if it was anywhere near tasteful to use age as some sort of marketing crutch (it's not), youth is rarely the mark of skill. The same goes for the words

"took Bob's beautiful tracks and remixed them 49 times. The result is extraordinary," ... I have little to say about this other than... no...

"marking Tape Store as a top remixer of his time." no... never even close...

" To top off this spine-tingling release," no...

LA's the Mae-Shi remixed Bob and Tape Store's work; their track ends the album.

"It should be noted that Tape Store and Bob Dynamite only met once for a few minutes prior to this collaboration and never actually saw each other during the creation of it; this makes this album even more impressive than ever thought possible."
I'm not sure how to argue this marketing gimmick. I'm not sure there were many people out there who previously thought about this album at all, nevertheless thought it would be impressive... The short meeting time might be impressive if the album was a beauty... this album is not. Even so, ideological impression counts for nothing. Music is everything. If a short meeting time made the tracks worse, it was a foolish thing to do, detrimental to an already low-quality album.

" Arguably the greatest Columbia release of all time, "Polyvinyl Chloride" rivals "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club" and "Pet Sounds" for the most epic, brilliant release ever. Enjoy."

...huh...

"80-minute 99-track single"

Quantity != Quality.

I could bang out 40 minutes of music in my room in the next two hours and separate it into 49 tracks. It means nothing. Nor am I impressed by the short, almost worthless duration of each track. Few people can successfully pull off a song that's less than a minute and a half. A song that is pleasant to listen to often requires some peaks and lows, strains and climaxes, and releases of melody. Interpret that as you will, but this music doesn't have those aspects. And I suspect the carelessness with which this album was thrown together, all for the purpose of trying to be an "impressive" "prodigy" of an artist who releases 49 tracks at such a young age, is the cause. Same for the similarly teenaged boy.

Now that we've gotten through all the marketing bull, let's get to the music. It's okay.

Small complaints, first:
The techno tracks use too many cliche techno sounds. (track 55 for an example) No originality, just randomness.

The original tracks have a similar problem with cliche synth tunes.

Now onto the main problem:

There is seemingly no sustained rhythm, melody, or harmony, in any of these tracks. It's pathetic. Unruly, pointless spontanaity rarely does a musician good. Occasionally it does, but not for every second of 80 minutes. Don't push your luck. Use the basic elements of music and you'll create something mildly similar to music. Take a music composition class and you might learn something. Some of the tunes actually seem to have some potential (track 36 isn't that bad, for example, but the background instrument choice sounds like it's out of some terrible NES video game).

But the instrument choice, and lack of basic musical skills in either the original or techno tracks, hold this disc back from being anything good. The number of tracks does not make it impressive. The crazy marketing bullshit does not make it impressive. What makes a disc impressive is good music. There is lots of bad music out there, and that's fine. People are allowed to make bad music. Sometimes they lack any experience (like you) and that's fine. You have to start somewhere. Sometimes they lack talent (I'm not going to say anything here... just figure it out). But what's not alright is when people put up a terrible album, and the authors have NO experience, yet somehow have deluded themselves into believing that, even though other people have much more practice making nice sounding music, they will sucede all of those others' works ever made on their first try. Such hubris is disgusting. I don't care who does your marketing. Quit or fire them. You are not mozart or beethoven or the next one or the best goddamn musicians out there. To say so seriously, or even as some prank, is to spit on the face of real, quality music, created by musicians who knew what they were doing. I'm sorry, but that's the truth.

Have a little modesty next time, and people might take your music for a spin. But if you have no taste, no one's going to bite the advertising line you're offering them. Do you get it?

The music is okay. But the gargantuan amount of pride here has pushed me away. If you ask nicely next time, and are willing to admit your music might not be high-calibur, people will be more kindly to you. But if you claim it's high-calibur, people will judge it as they judge high-calibur music, and trust me, as an inexperienced artist, you will not benefit from that.

You may have potential, I'm not sure. But barking off lies, whether they're supposed to be "jokes" or not, is just frustrating to the people who are actually looking for an accurate description of music and not mounds upon mounds of hype. :/
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on 7/7/2006
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